Midcentury Makeover

Writer Terri Feder  |  Photographers Mark Bosclair & Werner Segarra

Architect Richard Loope, FAIA  |  Interior Designer Lynne Beyer, Allied ASID

It’s a common tale told by homeowners living in areas punctuated by dramatic terrain. When asked what drove the decision to purchase a particular property, they respond “the views.” And that is just what happened when a couple checked out this residence in 2012. In the market for a larger second home and nature lovers, they were immediately captivated by the lot’s expansive views of Camelback and Mummy Mountains.

The house on that stunning site fit nearly all of the couple’s prerequisites. At two years old, it was unlikely to present maintenance issues. Located in a gated community, it offered an extra layer of security, and, at 3,200-square feet, it had ample room for their kids, six grandchildren and other friends and family. And, its midcentury-influenced architecture—clean lines, flat planes and walls of glass serving up those gorgeous views—was right up their aesthetic alley.

What they weren’t quite as taken with were its interiors. Although the house had good bones, a lot of the finishes did not resonate with the owners’ tastes and some features were not in scale with the size and height of the rooms. They knew that if they purchased the house, the interiors would need serious revamping.

Before committing, the couple decided to ring up interior designer Lynne Beyer, Allied ASID, whom they had met years earlier when she conceived the interiors of their first Arizona home, and architect R. Nicholas Loope, FAIA. Loope, who is married to Beyer, spent nine years as managing principal architect at Taliesin Associated Architects and often serves as architect and builder/general contractor on projects. “We knew Lynne and Ryc [Loope] would be able to tell us if the house had potential, and if so, what the scope and cost of the project would be,” confides the wife. “We also told them that we would only purchase the property if they felt it had potential and if Lynne agreed to do the interiors and Ryc agreed to serve as architect and builder,” says the wife. After seeing the home, Beyer and Loope declared it “a diamond in the rough” and promptly signed on.

Working in tandem, Beyer and Loope came up with a plan that would imbue the home with what it lacked—namely grander scale furnishings, personalized touches, niches in which the owners’ Southwestern art collection could shine and a more sophisticated, urbane style. Also on the list was replacing some less-than-ideal structural features; namely the 10-foot-high stone fireplace, which blocked the views. Load bearing, it could not simply be removed; it would have to be replaced with a less obtrusive and more artful element. Loope and Beyer’s solution was a lean, statement-making eight-inch-square steel vertical column and matching steel ceiling beam which spans the width of the room and heightens the contemporary feel that the homeowners were after.

Introduced to the great room was a custom art and entertainment wall unit and an additional seating area toward the front of the space that does double duty as a sleeping nook when the entire family is in town. Other revamped spaces include a guest suite as well as an office, which received custom cabinetry designed by Richard Loope to fit the room’s unusual hexagonal shape.

The kitchen’s alterations included a new oval-shaped island with a rift-cut oak base that is large enough to accommodate the whole family. Above it, and mirroring its shape and size, is a unique “cloud” ceiling treatment which creates the sense of intimacy that dining spaces call for and brings the lofty ceiling down a notch. Counters are topped with bold, polished Spectrus granite and rather than replace existing alder cabinets, Beyer increased their height with upper display nooks as well as a soffit. “The soffit helps connect the ceiling and the vertical walls,” Beyer explains.

The master suite also was revamped and expanded into a serene sanctuary. In the bedroom, ultra-luxe draperies lend a cocoon-like feel. The fabric’s palette of grayed-out lavender, muted metallic copper and sage green became the driving design force for the rest of the suite.

In a separate room, custom His and Her hanging walnut vanities, which were designed by Beyer and Loope, feature pull-out storage trays and granite countertops. A silk and wool rug plays off the pattern of the bedroom’s drapery, visually connecting the two spaces. The cherry on top is a Seura vanishing mirror TV that allows the owners to keep up on the news as they wash.

In addition to bringing in all new furnishings, Beyer also introduced sumptuous rugs from David E. Adler, new window and wall treatments and fresh Brazilian cherry wood flooring.

Today the desert retreat offers high style as well as a sense of escape, comfort and privacy to the entire family. “Thanks to Lynne’s designs and Ryc’s eye for structure, it has become a very comfortable home in which to entertain,” says the lady of the house.